From 2008 through 2010, Russell Wilson called NC State home.
He burst on the scene as a freshman, passing for 1,955 yards and 17 touchdowns and the legend was born.
Wilson graduated from NC State in 2010 ending his career with the Wolfpack with 8,545 yards and 76 touchdowns, the fourth-most yards and second-most touchdowns in NC State history.
Wilson would head to Wisconsin in 2011 as a graduate transfer, but he would always call NC State home.
He proved it on Friday, giving back to the Raleigh, North Carolina community by showing up to Carter-Finley Stadium to address the NC State Class of 2021.
“Graduates, this day, this night, it’s all about you. I hope you’re proud of what you accomplished. I hope you know how lucky you are to graduate from such a special school."
Wilson went on to talk about his many accomplishments at NC State, but his main focus was the kids getting ready to leave NC State to pursue the next chapter of their lives. For that, Wilson had plenty of advice to offer.
A good quarterback has to have great vision. Vision doesn't just help you see the open receivers, it helps you adjust to all the obstacles the other team is throwing at you. But it's not just quarterbacking that requires great vision. In life, one needs vision to accomplish any goal they set for themselves.
Said WIlson, "To me, vision isn’t about what you plan to do or what you hope to do. Vision is what you’re called to do. When you’re living with vision you’re not just being successful. You’re achieving exactly what you were put on this earth to achieve... We’re all called to do something different, but each of us is called to do something great."
"I play on Sundays, but I don’t just think about winning on Sundays. My goal is to win every day and that means living life with intention. Intention in what you do and what you say and the people you surround yourself with. That’s not easy."
Wilson is a student of the game, and not just the game of football but the game of life. He has learned a lot over his years and the knowledge he bestowed on the graduating class is invaluable.
Of all the things Wilson said, perhaps the most important was what he had to say about just trying to reach your goals in the first place.
"Things take time and sometimes you pursue a goal and it doesn’t work out or it doesn’t feel right but if that happens, at least you pursued it. At least you went after your dream with everything you had."
Knowing you gave it your all is always better than looking back and asking what could have happened if you tried in the first place.
Wilson spoke for nearly 20 minutes on Friday, and it's impossible to truly translate how important the things he said to the Class of 2021, but you can listen to Wilson's powerful speech for yourself in the video below.